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BOOK NOTES: More book news, Jan. 19, 2013

Compiled by Mary Louise Ruehr Published: January 19, 2013 4:00 AM

Author James Renner will visit book club at Kent Free Library

The Kent Free Librarys Mystery Monday Book Club will have a special guest at its next meeting: James Renner, author of The Man from Primrose Lane, the clubs title for January.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. Jan. 28 in the librarys second-floor meeting room. No registration is required.

Set in Akron, the novel tells the story of a depressed writer investigating his wifes suicide and the murder of a neighborhood hermit, only to discover that there may be surprising connections between the two deaths.

This will be Renners second visit to the Kent Free Library.

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Copies of the book are available at the librarys check-out desk.

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Best-Sellers

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

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The Associated Press

HARDCOVER FICTION

1. A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan (Tor)

2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Crown)

3. The Husband List by Janet Evanovich (St. Martins)

4. Collateral Damage by Stuart Woods (Putnam)

5. Kinsey and Me: Stories by Sue Grafton (Putnam/Marian Wood)

6. Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders (Random House)

7. The Racketeer by John Grisham (Doubleday)

8. The Blood Gospel by James Rollins (William Morrow)

9. Cross Roads by Wm. Paul Young (Faith/Words)

10. Threat Vector by Tom Clancy (Putnam)

11. The Forgotten by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing)

12. Empire and Honor by W.E.B. Griffin and William Butterworth IV (Putnam Adult)

13. Dream Eyes by Jayne Ann Krentz (Putnam)

14. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis (Knopf)

15. Notorious Nineteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich (Bantam)

HARDCOVER NONFICTION

1. Shred: The Revolutionary Diet: 6 Weeks 4 Inches 2 Sizes by Ian K. Smith (St. Martins Press)

2. Killing Kennedy by Bill OReilly (Henry Holt and Co.)

3. The Plan by Lyn-Genet Recitas (Grand Central)

4. Ninja Innovation by Gary Shapiro (William Morrow)

5. My Share of the Task by Stanley McChrystal (Portfolio)

6. Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter)

7. No Easy Day by Mark Owen (Dutton)

8. The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days by J.J. Virgin (Harlequin)

9. I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak by Joel Osteen (Faith/Words)

10. Wheat Belly Cookbook by William Davis (Rodale)

11. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham (Random House)

12. The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies by Jared Diamond (Viking)

13. The End of Diabetes by Joel Fuhrman (HarperOne)

14. Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook by Weight Watchers (Wiley)

15. Fat Chance by Robert Lustig (Hudson Street Press)

MASS MARKET PAPERBACKS

1. Odd Interlude by Dean Koontz (Bantam)

2. The Columbus Affair: A Novel by Steve Berry (Ballantine)

3. Return to Sender by Fern Michaels (Zebra)

4. Big Sky River by Linda Lael Miller (Harlequin HQN)

5. 10th Anniversary by James Patterson, Maxine Paetro (Vision)

6. Montana by Debbie Macomber (Harlequin Mira)

7. Catch Me: A Detective D.D. Warren Novel by Lisa Gardner (Signet)

8. Full House by Janet Evanovich (St. Martins Press)

9. Left for Dead: A Novel by J.A. Jance (Pocket Books)

10. Tom Clancys Ghost Recon: Choke Point by Peter Telep (Berkley)

11. Sea Glass Winter: A Shelter Bay Novel by JoAnn Ross (Signet)

12. Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central Publishing)

13. Wyoming Bride: A Bitter Creek Novel by Joan Johnston (Dell)

14. After Tex by Sherryl Woods (Harlequin Mira)

15. Kill Alex Cross by James Patterson (Vision)

TRADE PAPERBACKS

1. Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander (Simon & Schuster)

2. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (Vintage)

3. Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James (Vintage)

4. Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James (Vintage)

5. Home Front by Kristin Hannah (St. Martins Griffin)

6. Private London by James Patterson (Grand Central Publishing)

7. Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James (Vintage)

8. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (Ballantine)

9. Reflected in You: A Crossfire Novel by Sylvia Day (Berkley)

10. The Hobbit, Or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien (Mariner Books)

11. Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central Publishing)

12. Do More, Spend Less by Brad Wilson (Wiley)

13. Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Mariner Books)

14. Bared to You: A Crossfire Novel by Sylvia Day (Berkley)

15. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (MTV Books)

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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WALL STREET JOURNAL BEST-SELLERS

The Associated Press

FICTION

1. A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson (TorBooks)

2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books)

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Crown Publishing Group)

4. The Husband List by Janet Evanovich, Dorien Kelly (St. Martins Press)

5. Collateral Damage by Stuart Woods (Putnam)

6. Kinsey and Me by Sue Grafton (Marian Wood Book)

7. Tenth of December by George Saunders (Random House)

8. The Racketeer by John Grisham (Doubleday)

9. The Blood Gospel by James Rollins, Rebecca Cantrell (William Morrow & Co.)

10. Cross Roads by Wm. Paul Young (Faith/Words)

NONFICTION

1. Shred: The Revolutionary Diet: 6 Weeks 4 Inches 2 Sizes by Ian K. Smith (St. Martins Press)

2. Jesus Calling: Enjoy Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson Publishers)

3. Killing Kennedy by Bill OReilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt and Co.)

4. The Plan by Lyn-Genet Recitas (Grand Central Publishing)

5. StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath (Gallup Press)

6. Ninja Innovation by Gary Shapiro (William Morrow & Co.)

7. Killing Lincoln by Bill OReilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt & Co.)

8. My Share of the Task by Stanley McChrystal (Portfolio)

9. Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter)

10. No Easy Day by Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer (Dutton Books)

FICTION E-BOOKS

1. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover (Self-published via Amazon Digital Services)

2. Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central Publishing)

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Crown Publishing Group)

4. The Beggar King by Oliver Potzsch (AmazonCrossing)

5. The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen (Jessica Sorensen)

6. Up to Me by M. Leighton (M. Leighton)

7. Someone to Love by Addison Moore (Addison Moore)

8. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (Vintage Books)

9. Collateral Damage by Stuart Woods (Penguin Group)

10. The Forgotten by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing)

NONFICTION E-BOOKS

1. Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander (Simon & Schuster)

2. Shred: The Revolutionary Diet: 6 Weeks 4 Inches 2 Sizes by Ian K. Smith (St. Martins Press)

3. The Plan by Lyn-Genet Recitas (Grand Central Publishing)

4. Killing Kennedy by Bill OReilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt and Co.)

5. An Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff, Alex Tresniowski (Howard Books)

6. No Easy Day by Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer (Penguin Group)

7. Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman (Little, Brown)

8. Killing Lincoln by Bill OReilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt & Co.)

9. My Share of the Task by Stanley McChrystal (Penguin Group)

10. Fat Chance by Robert H. Lustig (Penguin Group)

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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USA TODAY BEST-SELLERS

The Associated Press

1. A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson (Tor)

2. Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central Publishing)

3. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover (Self-published via Amazon Digital Services)

4. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Crown)

5. Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander (Simon & Schuster)

6. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (Vintage)

7. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books)

9. Collateral Damage by Stuart Woods (Putnam Adult)

10. Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James (Vintage)

11. Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James (Vintage)

12. Up to Me by M. Leighton (Self-published via Amazon Digital Services)

13. Shred: The Revolutionary Diet: 6 Weeks 4 Inches 2 Sizes by Ian K. Smith (St. Martins Press)

14. The Forgotten by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing)

15. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (MTV)

16. The Plan by Lyn-Genet Recitas (Grand Central Publishing)

17. The Racketeer by John Grisham (Doubleday)

18. The Husband List by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly (St. Martins Press)

19. Private London by James Patterson and Mark Pearson (Grand Central Publishing)

20. Dream Eyes by Jayne Ann Krentz (Putnam Adult)

21. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)

22. Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot by Bill OReilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt and Co.)

23. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)

24. The Blood Gospel by James Rollins, Rebecca Cantrell (William Morrow)

25. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

For the extended, interactive and searchable version of this list, visit http://books.usatoday.com/list/index

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Review: The Entertainer depicts old Hollywood

By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL, Associated Press

The Entertainer: Movies, Magic and My Fathers Twentieth Century (Riverhead), by Margaret Talbot

Part biography and part Hollywood history with a side of Americana, The Entertainer might be the most engaging book youre likely to read about a movie star youve never heard of.

Actor Lyle Talbot was indeed a star, in the 1930s, yet its difficult to pick out a significant film from the two dozen or so he appeared in before he turned mainly to television and the regional stage, performing well into his 80s. Surely, though, he has stories to tell after working with Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, Spencer Tracy, Shirley Temple, Barbara Stanwyck and other screen greats.

While passing along those tales, his daughter Margaret Talbot, a writer for The New Yorker, broadens her scope by linking her fathers life and career to how people sought entertainment in 20th-century America and the kinds of characters who provided it.

Lyle Talbot (1902-1996) was raised in tiny Brainard, Neb. After a stint with a carnival as a young teenager, he began performing as a hypnotists assistant the act involved a bit of fakery and by 18 had his first role in a play. It was almost his last: Instead of delivering a stage punch, he actually knocked out the leading man of the melodrama Her Other Husband, who was also the co-owner of the company. Talbot accepted a cut in pay in lieu of being fired and eventually was allowed back onstage. Appearing in regional productions and theater troupes, he learned the craft and worked his way to New York.

Even after finding his groove as an actor, Talbot was still a bit of a wide-eyed kid from Nebraska. He was a partygoer and ladies man, but he was so put off, even frightened, by actress Mae Wests in-your-face sexuality that he hid out for a week to avoid joining the road company of Sex, her latest scandalous play.

Talbot scored a screen test in 1931 at Warner Bros. He chose to perform a scene from Louder, Please, a Broadway play that, unbeknownst to him, was a scathing parody of Warner production chief Darryl Zanuck. Luckily for Talbot, Zanuck was amused and director William Wellman so enjoyed the idea of tweaking Zanuck, even if unintentionally, that he cast Talbot in his next film on the spot. That led to a slew of movies in the early years of talking pictures.

Talbots daughter writes less about his famous co-stars than the environment in which they worked. Of particular interest are the so-called pre-Code Hollywood films Three on a Match and Heat Lightning are two of Talbots that were made after the formation of self-censorship rules in 1930 and their actual enforcement in the mid-1930s. Bad guys and girls might go unpunished, crime and other misdeeds paid rather well, a woman might put career ahead of marriage, and sex was often more than suggested.

Margaret Talbot doesnt shy away from considering her fathers limitations as a performer. He joined those actors unhappy with the unbridled demands of the studios in founding the Screen Actors Guild, which didnt enamor him with Warner Bros. While good-looking and talented, he lacked the screen presence to become a major star and wasnt clever about nurturing his career. He accepted practically any role, especially from the 1940s on, when he was no longer under contract. Thats how he ended up in films directed by cult figure Ed Wood, one of them the infamously awful Plan 9 From Outer Space.

Lyle Talbot never lost the thrill that came from performing. His daughter provides an endearing and insightful portrait of an actor and a father and of a country that always enjoyed the thrill of being entertained.

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New Dan Brown book Inferno debuts in May

NEW YORK (AP) A new Dan Brown novel is coming in May, and the subject is Dante.

Doubleday announced Tuesday that Browns book is called Inferno, named for Dantes epic journey in verse. Brown again will feature Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, the protagonist for his blockbuster The Da Vinci Code and for the million-selling follow-up The Lost Symbol. The book might seem familiar in other ways, as Brown again takes on a masterpiece of Western civilization: The Da Vinci Code centered on an iconic painting, the Mona Lisa.

Brown may also be returning to the religious controversies of The Da Vinci Code, when he infuriated some Catholics by suggesting that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had children. Dante himself was a Catholic who was critical of church leaders.

Inferno comes out May 14.

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Junot Diaz is finalist for short story prize

NEW YORK (AP) Junot (JOO-noh) Diazs This Is How You Lose Her is among three finalists for a $20,000 prize for short story collections.

Other nominees announced Tuesday for the Story Prize are Dan Chaons (shawnz) Stay Awake and Claire Vaye Watkins Battleborn. The winner will be announced March 13.

Diazs book was a nominee last fall for the National Book Award.

Organizers of the Story Prize, established in 2004, also announced a new award: the Story Prize Spotlight Award for collections worthy of additional attention. This years winner, Krys Lee for Drifting House, will receive $1,000.

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